Minneapolis Residents Sue City Over Lack of Police Presence

Residents of a north Minneapolis neighborhood are suing the city over what they say is the lack of police presence on their streets.

“We are here for the people of Minneapolis. We are here. We stand together in unison to say enough is really enough,” Cathy Spann, one of eight residents in the suit, told reporters after their case was argued in court Monday.

“Every single night on any block in this neighborhood you can hear gunshots!” she also said, according to WCCO-TV. “Every single freaking night!”

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Former Minneapolis council member Don Samuels added that the violence in their neighborhood has escalated “to the point where our lives are becoming unlivable.”

Samuels confirmed that gunshots can be heard on a nightly basis.

“Our children cannot go outside to play,” he said. “It is a totally unacceptable situation.”

Samuels said residents chose to sue the city after their requests for a greater police presence went unanswered.

“It seems as if the city council cannot hear us. It doesn’t feel what we feel and is not willing to act, and in fact acting to further deplete police resources and put our lives further at risk,” he said.

James Dickey, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, said the city is failing to keep the number of police officers on the streets required by the Minneapolis city charter.

“According to Dickey, the city charter says a minimum of 753 officers is needed to protect residents. He says the city would not say how many officers are actually on the street,” WCCO-TV reported.

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“We simply want to have enough police on the streets to keep Minneapolis safe,” Dickey told KITN-TV.

City officials said Minneapolis is meeting the requirements for the number of sworn officers on the streets, based on current population size, according to the outlet.

Minnesota Public Radio News reported that following the death of George Floyd, the city council forwarded a proposal to the city’s charter commission in June that would have given voters the chance to eliminate funding to the police department and replace it with a Community Safety and Violence Prevention department.

In August, however, the city’s charter commission decided it needed more time to evaluate the proposal, effectively scuttling any chance of the issue being on this November’s ballot.

The city council also voted in July to cut police funding by $1.1 million, redirecting the money to the health department to fund civilian “violence interrupters.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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